Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Think it was Wednesday Today

I've been working on a project for my brother's new house, (more later,) and was coveting more 2/20 cotton yarns. I need new colors and checked my stock against the color chart. I wrote down about 30 definites, maybes and possibles, and then did something I never do: I calculated roughly how much the project requires and the estimate was around 1.5kg, not 30 kg.

To have my source make up cones of less than 1kg, I must pay the same price as 100g of the cotton, so do you blame me for usually opting to buy 1kg? Feeling a little defeated, I set aside the project and went downstairs to weave the alpaca warp.

Not good.

I wanted a balanced plain weave. I got 22 wraps in two inches, so 22 x 1/2 x 1/2 = 5.5, and this is how I arrived at 6EPI yesterday, but nooooo.... This got me a weft-faced cloth!

So I resleyed at 10 EPI, weaving an extremely narrow strip of cloth, but at least it looked like log cabin, and I could now see a threading mistake. Then, I automatically wet-finished these two pieces in hot/cold water, and got two sorry-looking pieces of hairy rag.

Remembering this is knitting yarn, I corrected the threading, wove another sample, wove fewer picks of cotton starters so they don't shrink so much more than the alpaca wefts, and this time washed in lukewarm water.
This time the sample looked better, but I have a few problems.

1) I can't get the selvedge to look nice. This is the same problem I had the first time I wove with alpaca. The outer most end is a floating selvedge, the second is on Shaft 1, and the third, on Shaft 2, but the weft bulge outward no matter how I pull in or don't pull in the weft. I tried having two ends of floating selvedge, and threading the outer two ends in Shaft 1, and the third in Shaft 2, but all to no avail.

2) The cloth sheds like a puppy in early spring.

3) Of the most dire concern is, this cloth doesn't feel nice, at all.

I wondered what I can do with three, (I have warp enough for three scarves,) narrow, un-nice-textured alpaca strip with bad selvedge; I couldn't think of how to improve the situation.

So I came back upstairs and did some Internet coveting, and got my own conservation cotton gloves so I can help hang the Fiber Arts Award show, and a free rubber stamp with my url and address, for which I paid three times the normal postage. Only the product was free, I knew, so this would be how they recover some of the cost.

Tomorrow'd better be another day.


  1. I always feel defeated like that with yarn orders. I find it very challenging to assess my yarn requirements and then add up the cost. It always seems very expensive - until I go to the shops and see the prices of cloth goods of inferior weaving standards.

    Would the hardwearing alpaca fabric be suited to making bags rather than scarfs?

  2. Someone else recommended converting these into bags, too, Dorothy. I'll have to make the sett even closer, I think, but it's definitely worth giving it a go. Thank you.

  3. (And that way, I can hide the selvedge, yes?)

  4. Or a trim around a garment - LOL - I know!

  5. Yeah, Dianne, LOL is about all I can manage this morning. I'm in denial. This would be so hairy and scratchy for a trim!


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